Earlier today, Commissioner Rehn made it clear that he expects Ireland to receive a reduction in interest payments relating to the support loan. He all but announced a reduction earlier today and it has been clear since the beginning of the year that this would happen. As expected, it appears from his statement to form part of a wider restructuring of support programmes for Greece and Portugal. However, I am sure the Taoiseach will agree this is nowhere near the end of the matter as there remain major issues concerning the ECB, funding mechanisms for the bank and the ongoing measures required to reduce our deficit. The immediate question arises as to what is the Government policy concerning the money saved by this reduction. Will it be used to reduce the deficit or will it be diverted into spending?
It is fair to state there is a clear division between the Government parties on this matter and I ask the Taoiseach to state clearly two matters. First, will the Taoiseach reassure the House that Ireland's consistent opposition to the introduction of Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base remains firm and has not and will not be compromised in exchange for the reduction of the interest rate? Second, will he clarify whether the reduction in the interest rate and the savings arising therefrom will be used to pay down the debt or used for further spending?